I should start by clarifying that this post is not sponsored in any way. I bought the bags myself because I like them, except the one I requested as a Christmas present. And I should also clarify that their full name is the Mountain Equipment Wet & Dry Kit Bag.
I really like these bags. I know they’re not the sort that are popular with other travel bloggers and vloggers – that would be the Osprey ones – and they can be inconvenient to carry but they’re indestructible, waterproof enough to leave out in the rain (although not enough to throw in a river!) and I like the pockets.
So, first of all, they come in four sizes. I have the 40l (in purple), the 70l (in red) and the 100l (in black). As I can’t pick up the 100l when it’s mostly full, it would be idiotic to get the 140l but if you own a pet elephant to carry it for you, the huge bag exists also.
It’s made of waterproof tarpaulin with a nice tough nylon base – at least, the website says nylon. It’s basically Cordura, like a caving suit. There are compression straps on the side, a nice grab handle on each end (I tend to carry the bigger ones by those handles like an overgrown baby) and an adjustable shoulder strap with a sliding pad to make it more comfortable. This does not succeed in its aim. The bigger bags come with removal shoulder straps so you can wear them on your back, however, I find mine are far too heavy to be able to haul up there in the first place.
They all have a sort of yellow bag attached to the top. This is their USP – this is the bit where you can separate the wet stuff from the dry stuff. I think the dry stuff is meant to go in the yellow bag and the wet in the main compartment but I tend to use it to put damp or used clothes in.
There are netting pockets in the lid – useful for putting stuff you want easy access to, like headtorches or health forms if you’re using it for Guide camp – and there are also netting pockets inside in the ends. I think these would be more useful on the outside but on the other hand, I can see why having a bombproof exterior is useful. I put small things in there that I want to find but don’t need urgently, things like gloves and folding water bottles.
And really, that’s about it for features. They’re simple and basic and tough as tough can be. The 100l I find useful for hauling my camping stuff (because I’ve never mastered the art of lightweight camping) but if I don’t need multiple extra layers, the 70l does the job just as well. I trust them to leave them outside the tent while I’m striking it, I like that I can shove things in, I like that it doesn’t mind me sitting on it to try to force the zip to do up – oh. It has good sturdy zips with nice chunky pulls. If they get muddy, they don’t at all mind being hosed down.
Being difficult to carry is a big negative but then they weren’t really designed to be carried. They’re designed to be put in a canoe, I think, or strapped to a yak or the top of a bus. But I like them and I’m willing to put up with struggling under their weight as the price to pay for being able to stuff everything safely in them.